The Top Rated SUVs 2017

Cold Weather, Big Cars

SUV Sales Rise When Temperatures Drop

by Peter Levy

The top three cities known for their tough winters and tough vehicles are also home to the top SUV sales in the nation. In order, they are Denver, CO, Detroit, MI and Boston, MA.

According to Carjojo data collected between May 2016 and May 2017 in the 20 biggest U.S. metros, of the total vehicles sold in Denver, one-third were SUVs*. Similarly, in Detroit, the total number of SUVs sold accounted for 32 percent of the total vehicles sold. In Boston, SUV sales were 30 percent of the total vehicles sold for the year.

Rounding out the top five at number five is New York City. NYC, by far, sold the most number of SUVs for the year. 170,086 to be exact. This number accounted for 28 percent of the total number of vehicles sold in the city. 

Top Rated SUVs 2017 Sales Top 5 Metros

Low Average Temperatures, High Average SUV Sales

SUV sales by city are directly correlated to the average high and low temperatures for each location. For instance, Denver has the lowest average low temperature, at 36 degrees, and the highest percentage of SUV sales, 33 percent.

Conversely, the city with the highest average temperature also had one of the lowest overall SUV sale percentages (18%). This city was Miami at a warm average of 70 degrees. This was second only to other warm-weather cities like Los Angeles (15%) and Riverside, CA (17%). These cities had an average low temperature of 56 degrees and 53 degrees, respectively.

Did you know...

The top 10 cities with the most SUV sales are on average 34% more cold than the bottom 10 cities.

Decent Gas Prices and High Earning Potential Means More SUV Sales

While not geographically next to one another, Denver, Detroit, and Boston also share another commonality: their gasoline prices. We found some interesting information according to Gas Prices, a report by AAADenver, Detroit, and Boston are all within the national average range of $2.233 to $2.313 per gallon.

Cities that ranked lower for average SUV sales also landed on the highest end for gas prices. Such cities include Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, which had an average cost of $2.479 to $3.056 per gallon.

San Francisco’s current average price for regular fuel is $3.180. At almost $1.00 cheaper per gallon, Denver’s current average price for regular fuel is $2.273.

Peter Levy, Founder and President of Carjojo

SUV sales are higher where gas prices are lower, and vice versa, generally.  But income factors in.  I don’t think people in Denver, Boston, or New York are basing their buying decision on gas price alone. There are higher income families who can afford to buy roominess, and comfort.
Lower Gas Means Higher Sales for the Top Rated SUVs 2017

What Is The Top Selling SUV?

top rated SUVs 2017

Of the top SUVs sold by make and model, the Honda CR-V accounted for 10.02 percent of all SUV sales between May 2016 and May 2017. New York (27,801), Los Angeles (13,409) and Washington, D.C. (12,289) were top Honda sellers.

The Honda CR-V accounted for 2.44 percent of all cars sold in the U.S. between May 2016 and May 2017.

Peter Levy, Founder and President of Carjojo

Honda sales, in general, have been on the rise. Last month, Honda sales were up across the board by 2.83 percent since April. Specifically looking at their SUV sales, between the CR-V and the Pilot, Honda made up 7.53% of the total SUVs sold in the metros we looked at.

Percent Of Overall SUV Sales By Metro

Rank Metro Total SUV Sales Total Sales All Cars Percent of Overall Sales
1 Denver 48,893 148,370 32.95%
2 Detroit 86,342 273,192 31.60%
3 Boston 60,185 201,127 29.92%
4 Minneapolis 45,329 154,099 29.42%
5 New York 170,086 606,647 28.04%
6 Philadelphia 69,011 254,214 27.15%
7 Seattle 33,833 125,096 27.05%
8 Chicago 61,465 240,120 25.60%
9 Washington DC 70,129 284,005 24.69%
10 St. Louis 25,594 121,163 21.12%
11 Tampa 32,407 158,540 20.44%
12 Phoenix 38,010 192,477 19.75%
13 San Francisco 22,587 118,021 19.14%
14 Houston 52,284 278,001 18.81%
15 Atlanta 36,990 201,432 18.36%
16 San Diego 17,887 97,553 18.34%
17 Dallas 48,190 263,951 18.26%
18 Miami 38,363 218,990 17.52%
19 Riverside 40,952 239,839 17.07%
20 Los Angeles 76,598 508,248 15.07%

Percent Of Total Sales By SUV

Brand Sold Percent of Total SUVs
Honda CR-V 366,200 10.02%
Toyota RAV4 353,681 9.68%
Nissan Rogue 299,116 8.18%
Ford Escape 270,429 7.40%
Chevrolet Equinox 227,462 6.22%
Jeep Grand Cherokee 204,685 5.60%
Toyota Highlander 198,987 5.44%
Jeep Wrangler 198,977 5.44%
Jeep Cherokee 190,590 5.22%
Ford Explorer 180,779 4.95%
Subaru Outback 176,017 4.82%
Subaru Forester 169,411 4.64%
Mazda CX-5 111,570 3.05%
Hyundai Santa Fe 108,904 2.98%
Ford Edge 108,311 2.96%
Toyota 4Runner 107,966 2.95%
Honda Pilot 106,935 2.93%
Hyundai Tucson 92,918 2.54%
Kia Sorento 90,890 2.49%
Jeep Renegade 90,687 2.48%


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*In this study, the SUV data Carjojo collected came from sales of the twenty best-selling SUVs as listed here.

About The Auto Insider Report

The Auto Insider Report is Carjojo’s monthly analysis and insight into the current state of the automotive industry. Each mini report takes a deeper look at a specific brand or related topic.

We analyze hundreds of millions of data points daily on nearly 100% of new cars on dealers’ lots — over 4 million vehicles (and growing) — across nearly all makes and models. This level of real-time market intelligence is unprecedented in our industry, and unique to Carjojo’s proprietary technology.  The aim of our report is to highlight key industry trends, including sales, inventory, bloat, and more. And we’ll have it days or even weeks before any other report is made public.

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Thank you and enjoy.

-Carjojo Team